Offspring fans expecting to see Pete Parada on the drums during upcoming shows got some disappointing news Tuesday.
On his Instagram account, Parada announced he would not be touring with the band because he will not be taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs, my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time," Parada said.
The drummer said he has Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) — a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, GBS typically follows infections like influenza, Zika virus, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus. But on rare occasions, it can be triggered after receiving certain vaccines.
Pete Parada of The Offspring performs live on stage at Espaco das Americas on Oct. 29, 2019, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)
"I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me — so I am confident I'd be able to handle it again, but I'm not so certain I'd survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime," Parada explained.
Parada said he doesn’t hold any negative feelings towards his bandmates, saying that both parties are doing what they believe is best. And he didn’t speak ill of the vaccines.
But he did take issue with the notion of mandating vaccinations, something he said is increasingly becoming the norm in his industry.
"While my reason for not getting this jab is medical, I want to make sure I'm not carving out a space that is only big enough for me. I need to state, unequivocally, that I support informed consent — which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion," Parada said.
"I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organizations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power."
The White House has rejected the notion of handing down a federal vaccine mandate. But according to the Department of Justice, businesses are within their legal rights to require proof of vaccination from employees and patrons.
"As access to the COVID-19 vaccines has become widespread, numerous educational institutions, employers, and other entities across the United States have announced that they will require individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, enrollment, participation, or some other benefit, service, relationship, or access," DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel wrote in an opinion. "For instance, certain schools will require vaccination in order for students to attend class in person, and certain employers will require vaccination as a condition of employment."
Companies like Microsoft, Walmart, Tyson Foods, Disney, Ford, Twitter, and Facebook are among those requiring proof of vaccination from workers.
The DOJ said no law can prohibit "public or private entities from imposing vaccine requirements, even when the only vaccines available are those authorized under EUAs."
This story was reported from Atlanta.